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Emirbayer and Mische (1998) What is Agency?

Mustafa Emirbayer and Ann Mische (1998), "What is Agency?". In: American Journal of Sociology, vol. 103, pp. 962-1023.

This article aims (1) to analytically disaggregate agency into its sev- eral component elements (though these are interrelated empirically), (2) to demonstrate the ways in which these agentic dimensions interpenetrate with forms of structure, and (3) to point out the implications of such a conception of agency for empirical research.

Bennett (2005) The Agency of Assemblages and the North American Blackout

Bennett, Jane (2005), "The Agency of Assemblages and the North American Blackout". In: Public Culture, 17(3), pp. 445–65.

The article uses the concept of assemblage to to highlight the conceptual and empirical inadequacy of human-centered notions of agency and to investigate some of the practical implications, for social scientific inquiry and for politics, of a notion of agency that crosses the human-nonhuman divide. It uses the electrical power grid and an account of the blackout that struck North America in August 2003 to discuss a materialist ontology.

Shalom (2010) Theoreticians’ obligation of transparency: when parsimony, reflexivity, transparency and reciprocity meet

Drawing on his earlier pieces on the relation between theory and policy and the responsibility, Piki Ish Shalom demonstrates in this forthcoming article why transparency might be one of the pivotal criteria for any 'situated researcher'. Interesting read!

Dreyfus and Rabinow (1982) Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics- Chapter 5

Dreyfus, Hubert L. and Rabinow, Paul (1982), "Michel Foucault : Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics". Brighton: Harvester, Chapter 5.

These chapters (4 and 5) discuss the differences between Foucault's 'archaeology' and 'genealogy'.

Along with a chapter from Paul Veyne, this forms the basis of our starting discussion in the Method 5 forum.

Barad (1998) Getting Real: Technoscientific Practices and the Materialization of Reality

Barad, Karen (1998), "Getting Real: Technoscientific Practices and the Materialization of Reality". In: Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Vol. 10, no. 2, pp 87-128

In this article, Karen Barad examines the relation between the material and the discursive more generally by considering the piezoelectric crystal as a material instrument. A more robust understanding of materialism, as developed in Barad's theory of agential realism, enables feminists and other liberatory theorists to take account of the ways in which "matter comes to matter", including the active role of material constraints and conditions within a theoretical framework that acknowledges poststructuralism and Marxist insights exploring matter's multiple modes of 'mediation'.

Aradau and van Munster (2007) Governing Terrorism through Risk

Aradau, Claudia and van Munster, Rens (2007), "Governing Terrorism through Risk: Taking Precautions, (Un)Knowing the Future". In: European Journal of International Relations, 13(1), pp. 89–115.

The events of 9/11 appeared to make good on Ulrich Beck's claim that we are now living in a (global) risk society. Examining what it means to ‘govern through risk’, this article departs from Beck's thesis of risk society and its appropriation in security studies.

Bourdieu (1990) Structures, habitus, practices

Bourdieu, Pierre, (1990), 'Structures, habitus, practices', in The Logic of Practice. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 52-65.

This is Bourdieu's most thorough explication of the concept of habitus. Here he discusses his conception of the relationship between 'objectivism' and 'subjectivism' and the way that habitus shapes action. This will be read and discussed the 'genealogies' cluster in order to consider the role temporalities play in Bourdieu's sociology. 

Clough (2010) The Case of Sociology: Governmentality and Methodology

Patricia Ticineto Clough (2010), The Case of Sociology: Governmentality and Methodology, Critical Inquiry vol. 36 no. 4: 627-641.

This article discusses the contributions to a special issue 'On the case' in Critical Inquiry. It sh argues that  qualitative methodology in sociology can produce untimely political effects. The author encourages the further development of ways to think across the methodologies of sociology and critical theory and cultural criticism in order to address governance while giving freer rein to the indeterminacy of the in-between of the exceptional and the unexceptional ordinary.

Huysmans (2010) What is in an act? Dispersing politics of insecurity

Huysmans, J. What is in an act? Dispersing politics of insecurity. Paper prepared for The Politics of Securitization, Conference organized by the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST), 13-14 September 2010, Copenhagen.

First draft of a paper that examines what the politics of insecurity can be in securitising processes that efface acts. Please, do not quote without permission of the author. Comments most welcome. 

GRAC (2009) Ressaisir la citoyenneté aux bords du politique

Groupe Recherche Action (2009), "Ressaisir la citoyenneté aux bords du politique : expériences marginales et expériences instituées de participation politique à l'épreuve des projets de rénovation urbaine dans trois pays : Catalogne, France et Québec." Paris: Ministère de l'écologie, de l'énergie, du développement durable et de l'aménagement du territoire et de la mer. 

This project consists in sociologically telling the forms of expression and action of political actors who are institutionally not part of public affairs because they are considered as being unable to contribute to define the common world. "Ordinary citizens" "marginals," "radical activists", "illegal migrants", etc.: a set of actors considered as partially incompetent or who are ignored in the regular political devices, but who nevertheless do participate in a political way to the transformation of city uses.